Mother sentenced to prison in three children's fire deaths | News
A Macon woman who wasn't at home when a house fire killed three of her children will be serve at least six years in prison.
Colethia Williams pleaded guilty Monday morning in Bibb County Superior Court to three counts of involuntary manslaughter and one count of cruelty to children.
She received a 40-year sentence from Judge Howard Simms, and must serve at least six years in prison.
That's according to Assistant District Attorney Nancy Scott Malcor.
Williams was initially charged with three counts of felony murder and the one count of child cruelty. The murder charges were replaced with manslaughter as part of a plea agreement,
Police said Williams was apparently not home when the fire broke out around 1:30 a.m., on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013. The fire happened on James Street in Macon.
Three children died: Daija, age 7; Nykhiya, age 10; and Jammarian, age 9.
The fourth child, 3-year-old J'Lon spent several days at the Augusta Burn Center for his injuries.
An arrest warrant in the case said Williams was at her boyfriend's house.
Fire officials say the fire was apparently accidental and broke out in a room where nobody was sleeping.
Malcor commented, "It's a tragic case, a senseless loss of three children, just because she wanted to visit her boyfriend instead of being with them. They didn't have to die."
Williams' lawyer, Reza Sedghi, disagreed.
"Frankly, we don't what would have happened if she was there. We're just speculating." Williams may not have been able to put out the fire and might have died herself, he said.
Sedghi said J'Lon is recovering from his injuries.
"He misses his siblings," he said, "but he also wants to have his mom around."'
Williams has been out on bond since last April and is scheduled to report to prison March 21.